Jerry West issues another threat to HBO over ‘Winning Time’
Jerry West on Tuesday issued another threat to HBO over the way he has been portrayed in their show “Winning Time” about the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers.
West served as a scout and general manager for the ’80s Lakers. But he has been portrayed in the drama as a wild man. Last week, West’s attorneys sent a letter to HBO demanding an apology, retraction and damages for the way the showed has portrayed him.
HBO responded in a statement issued on Tuesday and stood behind their show.
“HBO has a long history of producing compelling content drawn from actual facts and events that are fictionalized in part for dramatic purposes. ‘Winning Time’ is not a documentary and has not been presented as such. However, the series and its depictions are based on extensive factual research and reliable sourcing, and HBO stands resolutely behind our talented creators and cast who have brought a dramatization of this epic chapter in basketball history to the screen,” the statement said.
That response was not at all satisfactory for West and his legal team.
West’s attorney called the portrayal of the former Lakers star a “character assasination.”
West said he was prepared to take the matter all the way to the Supreme Court.
Jerry West's not done with HBO's #WinningTime.
“The series made [the Lakers] look like cartoon characters,” West told former @latimessports editor Bill Dwyre. “They belittled something good. If I have to I will take this all the way to the Supreme Court.”https://t.co/r4cuxurzIX
— L.A. Times Sports (@latimessports) April 26, 2022
The 83-year-old is portrayed in the show as an alcoholic drinker who has rage issues. West’s team says HBO’s portrayal is not at all close to the real person. His legal team also says some of the incidents surrounding West that are shown on TV do not appear in the book upon which the showed is based.
West isn’t the only Lakers legend who is unhappy with the HBO show, which premiered this year.